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Will Derek Hough return for DWTS following COVID scare?

Signs do point to yes

derek hough return dwts
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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Derek Hough was forced to temporarily vacate his seat for the latest episode of season 30 of Dancing with the Stars.

MORE: Derek Hough makes surprise revelation about future role on DWTS

The former ballroom pro-turned-judge chose to not attend the taping for episode three due to possible exposure to COVID-19.

Host Tyra Banks acknowledged Derek's absence at the very top of the episode as she welcomed the judging panel.

WATCH: Dancing with the Stars season 30 trailer

"Due to a potential COVID exposure, and although he's fully vaccinated and tested negative, Derek will sit out tonight's show out of an abundance of caution," Tyra said.

As a result, contestants were scored out of 30 instead of 40, using the critiques and scores of the other judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and head judge Len Goodman.

MORE: Derek Hough makes candid comment about engagement plans with Hayley Erbert

However, since then, while Derek has tested negative, there has been no official word on whether he'll be returning to the show for the new episode.

dwts judges week three© Photo: Getty Images

Derek's absence meant that the contestants were scored out of 30 instead of 40

The performer has been flying back and forth between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he has been headlining his own show at The Venetian.

We do know that he's safe and has been out and about since the scare, as evidenced by his sister Julianne Hough's latest social media post.

The dancer shared pictures of her out with Derek and their father on her Instagram Stories, captioning them "Family Night."

MORE: DWTS judge Derek Hough's overnight health scare resulted in emergency surgery

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The 36-year-old wasn't the only one affected by COVID this season, however, as Cody Rigsby and his partner Cheryl Burke were forced to perform virtually and separately due to both testing positive for the virus.

derek julianne family night© Photo: Instagram

The dancer has been able to safely spend time with family recently

Their performance to Britney Spears' Gimme More received a mixed response from the judges due to the extenuating circumstances, garnering a score of 18 out of 30.

But on the flip side, both Cody and Cheryl have since then been cleared to head back to the studio and will be making their return to the live stage for Disney Week as the show goes to Disneyland for week four.

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